Yesterday I found myself sat in Central London, in a garden on the bank of the River Thames, opposite the Houses of Parliament, watching a competition for “The dog with the waggiest tail”.
Yes, in Central London, in the gardens of Lambeth Palace, the home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, to be precise.
Having not had the occasion to visit Lambeth Palace in about seven years, I have been trying to make one of the dates for the regular garden openings (the first Friday of every month until October, plus the odd evening opening). However, earlier this week I spotted that the North Lambeth Parish Summer Fete was taking place this weekend, in the gardens, and so I took the opportunity to combine my visit.
There was morris dancing, brass band music, a performance by tiny ballerinas from the local dance school, the egg & spoon and sack race, a tug of war, the dog show, face painting, a hog roast, local craft stalls and of course the surroundings of the beautiful gardens of the Palace of Lambeth in which to enjoy it all.
Even the sun made an appearance and the heavens only opened as I reach the end of my street on the way home.
They say that laughing is good for the soul and the dog show definitely made me laugh, as owners tried in vain to make their dogs behave.
Best in show was won by a Maltese terrier that won its category for best trick: high fives, pirouette-ing and walking on its back legs – with special mention to the only entry in the veteran category, a 14-year old with barely any hair left.
In the aftermath of the results of the BREXIT referendum, make of that what you will, I didn’t mind at all spending an afternoon in what felt like Little England, and enjoying some very traditional English pursuits. You never know what you might find in Central London!
When visited: June 2016